There was a time in my life that weddings were my main source of income. After being laid off from my job as a scientist, my hobby soon turned into a career. When I was first starting out, I took any and every gig I could to make ends meet. However, I held a secret during that time that I would never had admitted until now. I hated weddings.
Wedding photographers are an amazing set of people in that they have high energy, love the interactions during the dancing, and can shoot for 10 straight hours. While I loved the portrait section or even the bridal shots, the event time was simply not my cup of tea. After a few years thinking I had to take any job that paid, I switched my thinking to knowing you need to shoot what you love. If you do not, you are doing a huge disservice to your clients. Even though the clientele were coming to me for the imagery they found on my site, I was not putting the love into their day that they deserved. I became a full-time boudoir photographer for many reasons that worked for my lifestyle and my family. For years, I believed I was a horrible person for not enjoying weddings. They are a joyous occasion. So, what was my deal?
I came across a video recently from Michael Sasser explaining the same reasons that pushed me to leave weddings many years ago. Scheduling was a major part of my push to leave weddings, and it is the first on Sasser's list as well. There is no rescheduling a wedding, so your business needs to have backup plans in case issues arise.
Another major reason for moving into boudoir is the profit is higher over weddings. I know countless amazing wedding photographers who would argue this; however, for my own company, this did hold true. I worked better in shorter timeframes. While many will comment it's all about how you structure your pricing, the final answer is that I just could not ask higher pricing knowing my heart was not in it.
In the end, my life changed drastically from quitting weddings. The passion for boudoir gave my clients the attention they deserved. The weight off my shoulders of the worrying if everything would align was lifted. Any photographer who has children living in a town without family knows this can be a major issue in making that wedding date. So, why did I shoot weddings in the first place? The simple reason was income. If you are shooting for fear of lack of income, just imagine how much you could make putting the effort only into the jobs you love. If you are shooting boudoir and truly love weddings, by all means, make it happen. If you are shooting weddings and your passion is with sports, why not make the leap to make your career something you look forward to every day?
Lead image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash, used under Creative Commons.